Recipe: Fresh Vietnamese Rolls (Spring? Summer?)

I served these on Sunday night (according to my menu plan) alongside the Vietnamese Shrimp Salad. It was a lovely Asian meal… better than in a restaurant, and cheaper too. These rolls are a great compliment to any meal, not just a Vietnamese one! Making these rolls (wraps) with rice paper is a really fun activity – might be a good project for kids who want to learn how to cook.

Maggie’s Fresh Vietnamese Rolls

Ingredients

  • rice paper (large or small circles) (I used small this time)
  • bean sprouts
  • green beans
  • cooked noodles (I used ramen leftover from my salad)
  • cilantro, chopped
  • iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • anything else you want! – shredded carrot, shrimp, crab, pork, pickled radish, etc…

Directions

  1. Prep all the ingredients – lay them out so they are easily accessible.
  2. Soak a rice paper in a bowl of water for 10 seconds. Lay the paper on a clean towel. Stuff with the goodies (put them in the middle). Wrap up like a burrito. Repeat!
  3. Dip in…

Dressing (per 1 serving)

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Mix dressing ingredients together with a fork. Adjust ingredients to your liking (I usually add more peanut butter). Dip the rolls in the dressing.

I made 3 rolls with the noodles and 3 without. I prefer them without, but with the noodles it is easier to burrito-wrap them. I guess it’s a tradeoff.

What’s your favorite kind of wrap?

Kale and Seaweed Salad Recipe

I made this last night to accompany my Garlic and Chili Tilapia. I always get the Kale and Seaweed Salad at Zen Palate, a vegetarian restaurant in Princeton, and I wanted to try to make something similar. I have no idea what the recipe is for the Zen Palate salad, but I tried to guess at what the dressing is – soy based, and it tastes like a vinaigrette. I sweetened it with a little honey.

The salad at Zen Palate is a bit denser than mine came out to be – I think they just chop their veggies more. Either method tastes good; do what you prefer. I also decided to add some toasted sesame seeds.

Another good addition would be diced silken tofu on top, and maybe some lemon juice.

Kale and Seaweed Salad Recipe

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 4-5 cups of washed, chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup dried seaweed (wakame here)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Wilt the kale in a pan on the stove: make sure the kale is damp and heat, covered, in a pan on low for about 10 minutes.
  2. Soak the dried seaweed in water for about 5 minutes. When it finishes hydrating, you should chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Make the dressing: mix together soy sauce, vinegar, honey and oil in a Tupperware container and shake.
  4. Broil the sesame seeds for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the seaweed and mix together with the kale. Add as much dressing as you’d like and toss in the sesame seeds.

If you add tofu, this could be a meal in itself. Otherwise, it makes a great side dish or appetizer.